Workers' Compensation: Pennsylvania
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Nicole Farley, Fisher Phillips.
- All Pennsylvania employers are required to post the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Insurance Poster in the workplace. See Notice Requirements.
- Workers' compensation is mandatory, employer-financed, no-fault insurance that ensures employees disabled due to work-related injuries or diseases are compensated for lost wages, and necessary medical treatment to return them to the workforce. See Covered Employers.
- Pennsylvania employers are required to obtain workers' compensation coverage and can obtain such coverage through private insurance carriers, self-insurance or Pennsylvania's state fund. See Covered Employers.
- Most all employees in Pennsylvania, with few exceptions, are covered by workers' compensation. Independent contractors are ineligible for benefits. See Covered Employees.
- Pennsylvania law defines injuries as arising in the course of employment, regardless of the individual's prior condition, and includes new injuries, aggravation of prior conditions, death and certain occupational diseases. The law also recognizes physical and psychological injuries as well as repetitive use injuries. See Compensable Injuries.
- Employers or their insurance carriers may not be liable for certain types of injuries suffered by employees. See Employer Defenses to Workers' Compensation Claims.
- An injured employee has the right to be examined by a doctor of his or her choice. If, however, the employer provides a list of six or more physicians or health care providers, the employee must choose from the list. See Medical Benefits and Communication with Healthcare Providers.
- Employees who are disabled due to a job-related injuries or diseases are entitled to medical expenses and income benefits to replace part of the wages lost due to disability. See Amount of Compensation Benefits.
- Employers are required to provide a written notice of the employee rights and duties under Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Act at the time of injury or as soon as is practical. An employee must give notice no later than 120 days after the injury to maintain eligibility for benefits. See Initial Claims Procedure.
- The employer may not terminate, punish, or in any other way retaliate against employees for filing and pursuing a workers' compensation claim. See Retaliation and Interference.
- The workers' compensation statute provides for administrative hearings and court proceedings in cases of claims dispute, either by the employee, the employer or the insurance company. See Administrative Hearings and Court Proceedings.